Every New Year, there is a rush of predictions for what will happen in the year to come. Vendors want to demonstrate their thought leadership, PR teams and journalists love the story angle, and IT executives are looking for insights on future directions. Nothing wrong with all that, but does it really give us a clear picture of what is to come in 2014?
I’m a big fan of “follow the money” investigation. Love and revenge may be great motives for crime, but pursuit of profit rules in more legitimate business transactions. So where do investors believe the Big Data market is going? Well a quick look at funding raised around the New Year may be a strong indicator.
Let’s take a bunch of recently announced deals, and see if there are any hints. To make it more fun, I’ll add in some relevant tidbits from our soon-to-be-published ESG 2014 IT Spending Intentions report.
Chartio, $2.2m - what they do: visualization and simplification of user tools.
This clearly is a need and recent ESG research shows 20% of respondents view unfilled business intelligence and analytics roles and related skills shortages as problematic for their company. Any vendor who can make it easier for the layman to understand the data and share the findings is on the right track.
Axtria $4.8m - what they do: analytics for marketing and sales optimization.
4C $5m - what they do: predictive analytics on social media for advertising.
A hugely popular application of Big Data analytics is figuring out how to get smarter in customer acquisition, retention, and profitability. Recent ESG research shows 53% of marketers surveyed believe one of their biggest spending priorities in 2014 will be improved data analytics for real-time business intelligence and customer insight, which was actually the highest ranked response. Again, vendors who can help companies monetize their Big Data initiatives will do well.
Zephyr Health $15m - what they do: cloud-based Big Data platform for health care
Another common vertical application of Big Data is in the health care industry. Hospitals, clinics, and research generate phenomenal amounts of patient data, and the need to analyze this for better care and better cures will only get bigger. No surprise to see a cloud angle either. ESG research shows in the next five years, 44% of respondents intend to host their Big Data solutions in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environments.
Datameer $19m - what they do: integration, analytics and visualization on Hadoop.
Part of the challenge of adopting Big Data for IT departments is that they often need to seek out a number of vendors to build a solution. If more of the software components can be combined out-of-the-box, getting to the good part happens faster and companies can show the value of their initiative sooner. ESG research shows 25% of enterprises want to deploy new or additional Hadoop infrastructure in the next 12 months. A more comprehensive integrated stack may be a better way to do that.
So, some interesting correlations, no? Investment money reflects relevant customer demands pretty tightly. Good to see the smart VCs are doing their homework.
We’ll continue with more deals, data points, and analysis in “Show me the money - Part 2,” coming soon!